John O'Connor was a painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer and teacher. He was born in Leicester where he attended the College of Art 1931-34. Later he went to the Royal College of Art where his teachers were Eric Ravilious and John Nash. His teaching career began before the war at Birmingham College of Art in 1937 and then at Bristol 1938-41. After service in the Royal Air Force 1941-6 he continued teaching and became principal of Colchester College of Art 1948-64. Visiting lectureships include St Martin's School of Art 1964-74. O'Connor's own written and illustrated books include Canals, Barges and People 1950; Landscape Painting 1967; The Technique of Wood Engraving1971; Introducing Relief Painting 1973; and A View of Kilvert 1981. He illustrated books for the Golden Cockerel Press, notably about the countryside. O'Connor is a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. He had many solo shows including the Zwemmer Gallery 1955-68, New Grafton from 1970 and Markswood Gallery, Great Bardfield 1987. He wrote in 1989 that he retained 'a search for timelessness in subject matter and in mood of painting with avoidance of material that dates or humanises the picture. Also I seek unusual weather conditions’. His work is held at the Arts Council, The Tate Gallery, and British Museum and in many other public collections.